Finally I was able to have my own freedom which meant that I could actually pick the radio station for once instead of listening to my Moms favorite bands from the 70s. Thank goodness that was over right? Well I thought I had total freedom, but I kind of forgot the huge detail is my strict Mother. One easy mistake that I made changed my life for the better. Driving was always a privilege in our family not a right. In the Russell household, in order to get your license you have to sign a contract. In the contract it states that we must maintain a certain grade point average throughout high school or else we will not be able to drive the car.
Also, with my other brothers my parents decided that before we can get our license they would have to get their Eagle. That gave my brothers a lot of motivation to get their Eagle so that they would finally be able to have freedom to drive a car. In my case, it was the same for me with getting my Young Womans in Excellence completed. By having this as a set goal it gave me the motivation to want to get this done in a reasonable amount of time so that I would be able to finally have the chance to drive a car.
Also, we signed that we would obey the rules which meant that we werent allowed to drive others in the car with the music blasting because these friends are in my hands. I am the one ultimately in charge when it comes to driving and I could be at risk if I drove crazy around town. My dad made me take this drivers course online with the computer so that it would help with the cost of our insurance. So a couple of months before I was able to get my license I had to take this course. In the program it was like I was driving a pretend car and would put different obstacles in my way.
For example, there was a part where I was driving in a neighborhood and a little boy came in the street. The program would test me to see what I would do in that type of situation. I also had to take quizzes on how fast I should be going in certain areas or how far I should park from a fire hydrant. I spent many hours working at getting good enough quiz scores and perfecting my driving skills so that I would be able to complete the course. When the program was coming to a finish it had one last requirement that I was supposed to complete and that was driving with a parent and having them critique everything that you did wrong with notes.
After months of working on this program I finally passed and was able to become a legal driver. In Utah right when you get your license you have to have your license for six months before you are allowed to drive anyone in the car except family members. Before I got my license my mom warned all of my neighbors that if they ever saw me driving over the speed limit, blasting music or driving with friends before my six months ended that they should report to her immediately. If she heard a neighbor talk about how I was speeding she would immediately believe them over me any day.
Of course she said that she would keep it completely anonymous so that if someone told on me, they wouldnt get in any trouble. Yes, I officially had the neighborhood police on my case. Spying and watching my every move right as I put the key into the ignition and turned the car on. My mom strictly told me that I needed to obey these rules especially the no driving friends one until the long, treacherous and difficult six months was up. I was doing pretty well with following that rule until a couple months later when I fell into the temptations of peer pressure. Summer was beginning to come to an end, which you know what that means right?
A new school year with homework and new classes. It was a warm sunny afternoon; I met my friends at In and Out Burger for dinner. As we finished they persuaded me to drive us all back to my friend, Andreas, house (who happens to live in my neighborhood) because their ride from earlier just so happened to leave to go elsewhere. At first I was very strong and said, I cant drive you all because thats against the law! Slowly they broke down that wall and persuaded me after five minutes of staying strong. Of course, it was hard for me to completely say no considering that I was doing so well thus far without breaking any of the rules.
I thought to myself Well I have done pretty well; I guess this one time wont hurt right? So a couple of my close friends hopped into my Sequoia and we were on our way to Andreas house. It was great because we blasted our favorite songs, sang along the best we could and had the windows down, feeling the breeze against our faces. It definitely was the perfect way to have Summer come to a close. As we approached my neighborhood we cruised by some of the houses in my neighborhood, blasting our music when all of a sudden I turned a sharp corner going fast and I looked over and saw my mom in her car at a stop sign.
Her face was priceless as she made eye contact with me and stared deep into my soul. Thats it, I knew that I was done for and there was no coming back. I might as well crawl into a hole and never come out to see the daylight. I knew that I was busted which only meant that I would be grounded for time and all eternity. My mom immediately told me to pull over right then and there. I have never felt more humiliated in front of my friends. How could you disobey those rules, Janessa, I trusted you. She said. First off you drive with friends in the car, blast music, and went over the speed limit! Yes I know mom, but we were only driving home from In and Out Burger which is five minutes away. I didnt think that it would be that big of a deal? I said. Well of course its a big deal because I gave you specific rules to go by and yet you disobeyed.
What would have happened if a small child decided to run across the street, while you were making that sharp turn? There is no way you would have possibly been able to stop in time. Have all of your friends get in my car and I will take them to Andreas, while you drive yourself straight home and head to your room young lady! How could I have fallen into peer pressure that easily? The one time that I felt like I could get away with disobeying and then I got busted. I was officially grounded for one month, which meant only driving the car to school and back. My social life became dead for the next month considering that I wasnt allowed to hang out with friends. I learned a valuable lesson about obedience and how I should obey these rules at all times. An example of obedience is, sometimes as humans we think that we can get away with things that dont seem that big of a deal at the time.
My mom told me this story, which taught me a valuable lesson. The story was about this lady who was driving home from church. It was too much of a hassle to put her baby in his or her seatbelt properly so she thought it would be okay to hurry and drive home holding her child, considering that they only lived a block away. After a few miles she got in a car accident and the airbag killed her child immediately. If she would have only obeyed the laws and put her child in the seatbelt like she was supposed to do then she would have never lost her child who she loved so dearly.
She had to live with knowing that her child would never have the opportunity to live another day. She would never be able to see her child graduate from high school, get married, and become a mother of her own children. Day by day she faces the choice that she made and she will forever regret that poor decision. So next time you disobey the rules which you were given, think about this mother and the pain that she has to go through each day. We have rules here for a reason, which will help us in the long run. Next time you get asked to do something that you know is disobedient to the rules will you do it?